How to Avoid the Complication Known as Dry Socket
Although generally a treatment of last resort, sometimes a dental extraction is necessary. Whether you are having wisdom teeth or a damaged tooth pulled, the healing process is quite similar. If you find yourself discussing the need for dental extractions with your Lacey, WA dentist, you’ll want to follow these tips to avoid a post-extraction complication referred to as dry socket.
Dry Socket: What It Is
When a tooth is pulled, a clot forms at the site shortly afterward to protect the exposed area from contamination. This is part of the healing process. When that clot is disturbed, it can leave your nerves exposed, which will cause you quite a bit of pain.
Dry Socket: How to Prevent It
It’s easy to prevent dry socket as long as you follow these guidelines during your recovery:
- Don’t drink out of a straw for at least a week after the procedure. The sucking motion can dislodge the blood clot.
- Don’t smoke or chew tobacco for at least 48 hours after the extraction. Not only does the potential exist to introduce bacteria into the area, but the suction created when smoking a cigarette can dislodge the blood clot.
- Don’t chew on the extraction site in the days following the procedure. Stick to soft foods for the first few days, and chew on the other side of your mouth.
- Don’t clean the extraction site for at least 24 hours afterward. You can brush the rest of the teeth in your mouth as well as your tongue but avoid touching the extraction area.
- Don’t plan strenuous activity in the days following the extraction. Your body needs a chance to heal, so rest is in order. If you are feeling any pain or discomfort, you can try an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
If you have questions about dental extractions or healing after the procedure, be sure to contact your Lacey, WA dentist Tranquility Dental Wellness.